Does starting a “home garden” intimidate you? — Where to begin? How to take care of them? Which plants to buy? Doing something unknown is always scary but with some research, gardening will certainly be rewarding. Plants bring serenity and beauty inside your home. These living and growing organisms that bloom colorful flowers are always amusing. Hence, gardening is very therapeutic. Below are some house-plants I recommend bringing into your home. With the right knowledge on how to care for them, you will absolutely enjoy their beauty and the nature ambiance these plants will bring.
Where to begin?
- Find out your plant hardiness zone number. Go here to learn about your place hardiness zone number. This is important because all plants have climate preferences. For example, I live in Los Angeles and my hardiness zone number is number 10, which means I will be purchasing plants hardy to my location’s climate.
- Know how much sunlight comes into your space. The further the plant from the window, the faster the intensity of light drops. Windows facing East or South would be ideal for your houseplants. I live in a South facing place, which gets a lot of afternoon sunlight.
- Go to plant nurseries near you. I like to go to Home Depot because it’s the nearest plant store from our house. You can also check out the top plant nurseries in LA by Los Angeles Magazine.
Kalanchoe Succulent or flowering succulent is one amazing plant you often see in gardens and flower shops. It has clusters of tiny flowers that produce a large bloom held aloft on stems above the majority of the foliage. My little girls picked these pretty blooming plants from Home Depot and fit very well in their mini-garden display at home. I found another great place other than Home Depot to buy this plant from is at this site. Mountain Crest Gardens has the entire succulents’ collection for reasonable prices and they even have reviews and care instructions for each plant.
Kalanchoe plants must have well-drained soil. This plant like small containers due to the bigger the pot the more likely it will sit in moist. And succulents do not like a lot of moist. Treat this plant like cactus.
This type of succulent has few disease or pest problems, best when grown indoors and need partial sun to light shade. Let it COMPLETELY dry out before watering again.
Try to get a feel of your Kalanchoe plant — if their leaves are starting to dry out, it means it’s time to re-pot or it’s getting too much or too little direct sunlight. I move my plants to different locations in our space many times to know the best spot for them. It will show wilting or other signs of unhappiness, if the amount of sunlight is not right. Fertilize once a month.
Pink Polka Dot Plant
Have you ever seen foliage this lovely? Pink Polka Dot plant is incredibly an easy plant to grow in your home — no ‘green-thumb’ needed! I purchased this from the house-plants garden department in Home Depot, but I can’t find any products link where to buy them. You can go to their store to see, if they still have them in stock or you can get them from Etsy online store. What’s so attractive with this plant is its color — cute pink polka dot all over its foliage. They grow so fast! With the right way of caring for them, you will see an incredible growth in a matter of two weeks.
I find that this pink polka dot plant likes direct morning sunlight. However, it can thrive with direct afternoon sun light as well. If your place is getting too much afternoon direct sunlight, use curtains as filter. This plant needs 4 or more hours of sunlight. It is time to water when one inch of its soil feels dry to touch. Water thoroughly until water drips outside the pot’s holes.
Add organic fertilizer once a week. I also like to use fish kelp liquid fertilizer from time to time. This gives my plants a boost of growth. Look at fish kelp as a treat for your plants.
This plant will continuously grow tall up to a point that its stems will start drooping. So you want to keep pinching off the stem to avoid legginess.
My experience with this plant is when the sun is down, its leaves slightly droop. Even though, it shows sign of wilting, as soon as the morning sun hits it, all the leaves perk right back up. I’ve always thought every time plants wilt, you should water it right away, but with the Pink Polka Dot plant drooping is part of its routine. Check out my Instagram account for more updated pictures of my plants. I’m obviously obsessed with them!Money Tree
The Malabar chestnut or also known as the money tree plant symbolizes good luck and wealth. Usually grown indoors, this plant can reach up to 6 or 7 feet high indoors. The tree has five trunks, braided together, which makes this tree attractive. The picture above is a 6 month old Money Tree. I call it my baby tree. My experience with this plant is it’s an easy plant to care for, but it’s always good to check your plant every day to check for diseases, pest or if you need to water it.
Place this tree on a location with indirect sunlight. Water when 1 to 2 inch of soil feels dry to touch. Water this plant once a week only. Although, this plant doesn’t really need a lot of attention, I would suggest planting it in a large terra-cotta pot so that it will have enough room for growth and soil dries out faster compare to a plastic container. I had to re-pot my money tree from a plastic container into a terra-cotta pot because I noticed the tips of the leaves are yellowing. This is because the plastic container was making it difficult for the soil to dry out between watering. If the soil is always moist, the roots of your plant will rot. So as soon as there are any signs of leaves turning into brown, yellow or drooping – this means you have to make a call what action you will do to save your plant. In my case I re-potted it and it did solve the problem. Lastly, this plant likes outdoors with indirect sunlight during the summer time as well. Once in a while all plants want to be outdoors.
Mini Snow-bush Plant
Mini Snow-bush plant or Breynia Disticha is such a delightful plant. When I saw this in the store, I thought it would be a great addition to our home garden. It’s called snow bush because the white spots on its foliage makes it look like a plant covered with snow. If you would like to add this plant to your plant arrangement, makes sure to choose plants with the same sun and watering needs.
Water the mini snow bush plant every 3 – 4 days. Keep the soil moist as much as possible. This plant needs a lot of attention. Pinch off leggy stems. I like to keep my snow bush plant looking like a snow ball. The leaves will droop when it needs water. Water right away, if you see slight wilting. One day, I forgot to water my plant when I already saw it drooping and then the next day it was all dried out. I absolutely panicked and thought that my snow bush plant is a goner, but I was able to save it by watering right away thoroughly. Also, I like to give my plant fish kelp fertilizer. Mix 1 teaspoon of fertilizer into 1 cup of water. Don’t forget to stir then pour water to your snow bush plant until you see water dripping out of the holes of the pot.
Ultimately, you will find lots of articles online about how to care for different plants. However, we all have different environment that we live in. Therefore, how I cared for my plants might or might not work for you because you live in a place with a totally different climate. But I hope this article helped your research about house plants. I brought a lot more plants than the list above into my home, but unfortunately they did not survive the new environment they were in. I continuously do a lot of research into finding out how to care for different type of plants and will share all my experiences and findings to you all. I think the best way to learn about plants is to experience caring for them and growing them yourself. Thanks for reading!
*in collaboration with Home Depot